SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

May 3, 2013

Heard Around Town: A $1,200 gift from the heart

SALEM — Ron Hobson is a 19-year-old who works at Brookhouse, a Derby Street residence for elderly women. He makes $8 an hour.

He is enrolled in Embark, a postsecondary program for young adults between 18 and 22 with disabilities that is located in the Enterprise Center at Salem State University.

Hobson loves the program and is grateful for how it has helped him become an independent adult. He loves the program so much, he decided to give something back. When he told Director Patrice Grande he was going to donate more than $1,200 from his savings account to the Friends of the Northshore Education Consortium and the Embark Program, she almost fell off her chair.

She tried to talk him out of it. She called Hobson’s parents in Lynn and told them she thought it was way too much. They agreed but said it was something their son really wanted to do.

A few weeks ago, Hobson handed over his hard-earned money, which the program used to purchase Photoshop, a digital camera, a scanner and other equipment.

In return, Hobson and his family were invited to the ribbon-cutting last week of the Ron Hobson Technology Lab at the Enterprise Center.

“Ron, you are exemplary as a role model for staff and students alike,” Grande said at the ceremony. “You have looked beyond your own personal needs and desires to help your school and the consortium ...”

A lesson for all of us.

Long live the queen

There was a lot of excitement Tuesday night at Finz restaurant.

The Salem Rotary Club held a celebrity bartending event to raise funds for its many charitable causes. There was quite a lineup: Billy Costa of Kiss 108, a Salem resident; Channel 5 meteorologist A.J. Burnett; 1976 Olympian Dick Lamby; Bruce “Elvis” Whear, a local thespian, electrician and man about town; and the usual assortment of elected officials.

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